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#76108 - Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown is a great introduction to the Modular Building Series.

I had the opportunity to review this set for Brick Architect website. I've focused on the question around whether this set is a good stepping stone for builders wanting to try the Creator Expert Modular Building Series—This is an excerpt of a longer review.


Initial Impressions

At first glance, this set’s high level of architectural detailing looks like it belongs in the Modular Buildings series. At 99.99$ for 1004 pieces, it is a good deal smaller and less expensive than the modular buildings.

Building the model

The construction process uses 8 numbered bags, so you will only have a few parts on the table at any given time. This felt like too many bags given the modest size of the model, but I suspect this was intentional to keep each bag to around 20 minutes of construction time, and to reduce frustration searching for the part you need. For younger builders, it might make sense to only assemble one bag each day.

Architectural Detailing

Of the two buildings, the Sanctum side of the model is the strongest by far. The three stories reflect three different styles of architectural detailing. The bottom floor has a rusticated stone façade and sloping concrete base suggesting a strong foundation. The second story has a nice contrast between the stone columns and orange stucco. the top floor has a Second Empire style roof, with rectangular windows on either side of an oversized oculus-style window.

While the large round window is creative license on behalf of Marvel, the use of three distinct styles representing the bottom floor, middle floors, and very top floor is quite common in urban residential architecture in Europe and North America. Highly decorated urban residences drew inspiration from rural palaces, at the same period in history when affluent people chose to move to the cities.


Modular Building Lite?
If you review the current selection of LEGO sets, there is a huge gap between the relatively simple buildings featured in the “Creator” series (typically around 30$, aimed at ages 8-12), and the massive sets in the “Creator Expert” series (well over 100$ and targeting ages 16+). The basic “Creator” sets feature relatively little architectural detailing, whereas the Creator Expert sets are extremely intricately detailed. There aren’t a lot of sets in the middle, introducing more advanced building techniques at a reasonable price point, until this set.


To be fair, there are a lot of awesome sets aimed at this transitional skill level and age group within the Star Wars and Super Heroes series, but they are usually ships or large playsets instead of buildings. For this reason, I think it is fair to consider this set unique in offering an architecturally focused minifigure scale model which sits somewhere between the simplicity of the “creator” series and the complexity of the “creator expert” products.

To set realistic expectations, this model has a more compressed scale than those in the Modular Building series: with a base of just 16×16 studs and very small rooms and short ceilings on each floor. That said, there are numerous examples online where people have modified the official set to fit in their Modular city — it doesn’t look like major changes are required to make it look good.


Conclusions:

While it doesn’t quite meet the level of architectural detailing found in the Creator Expert modular building series, #76108 Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown is a fantastic introduction to the style. It comes Highly Recommended due to thoughtful architectural detailing, great minifigs, and a fair price.

For the full-length review and lots of photos, visit:  http://brickarchitect.com/2018/review-76108-sanctum-sanctorum-showdown/


What do you think?  

I'd love to hear what sets you recommend to new AFOLS or younger builders who want to work up to the Creator expert Modular Building series?

datsunrobbieomniumricecakepharmjodSumoLegoLittleLoriJohnyk668FowlerBricksthedingman5blakusdklcdo_figueroastluxsnowhitieLostInTranslation

Comments

  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,952
    edited May 2018
     I think one of the biggest advantages with a smaller “modular” like this is simply that it takes up less space, so one can still create a very cool scene with a large amount of playability, at a lower price point.

    I actually think that is a more useful function than a stepping stone concept to a full modular, although, I could see where Lego is really positioning sets to be just that.

    I have really found with all my kids, that once they were building larger theme sets, such as 76108, they were at a point they could build really any set out there. We also found that technic areas, were usually the last element of builds that they needed any help with...and maybe stickers.

    (Btw... I particularly like your last photo that shows progression of build difficulty.)
    Astrobricks
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,502
    ^ This. I agree it is a nice set in the modular mold, but I question why anyone would need a “stepping stone” to building modulars unless they are quite young. A stepping stone to getting addicted to modulars? Definitely.
    akunthitaBumblepantsgmonkey76
  • lcdo_figueroalcdo_figueroa College Station, TXMember Posts: 62
    I've never built a Modular, been more of a fan of ships and spacecraft, but got the Sanctum at a fair price and for the sake of completing the Infinity War range. And I remember telling myself as I built it, if this is what it feels to build a Modular, that Diner set is looking very enticing, always loved the colors and the detail, but was turned away because "Buildings are not fun, they just stay there". Am I right in believing that building a modular will be as much fun as building the Sanctum? 
  • msandersmsanders Member Posts: 910
    I've never built a Modular, been more of a fan of ships and spacecraft, but got the Sanctum at a fair price and for the sake of completing the Infinity War range. And I remember telling myself as I built it, if this is what it feels to build a Modular, that Diner set is looking very enticing, always loved the colors and the detail, but was turned away because "Buildings are not fun, they just stay there". Am I right in believing that building a modular will be as much fun as building the Sanctum? 
    Building a modular will be much much much more enjoyable. The techniques and amazing details will keep you smiling all the way through. I regularly look at my modulars (whilst dusting or playing with my son) and they just make me smile! We have lots of great stories with them. 
    MaffyDBumblepants
  • Boardshorts85Boardshorts85 ChicagoMember Posts: 177
    edited May 2018
    I've never built a Modular, been more of a fan of ships and spacecraft, but got the Sanctum at a fair price and for the sake of completing the Infinity War range. And I remember telling myself as I built it, if this is what it feels to build a Modular, that Diner set is looking very enticing, always loved the colors and the detail, but was turned away because "Buildings are not fun, they just stay there". Am I right in believing that building a modular will be as much fun as building the Sanctum? 
    The entire modular line, but particularly since Parisian Restaurant, are amongst the best sets LEGO has ever created.  The build techniques, the details, the display quality are all top notch.  The DO and BB are particular standouts as they have unique story lines integrated into the build.  I personally finished Downtown Diner two nights ago and the techniques used to create the details are just top notch.
    BumblepantsFizyxgmonkey76
  • MrJacksonMrJackson Member Posts: 323
    Totally agree with Boardshorts. The Parisian is my favorite set ever, and for as much time as I spent staring at the Falcon from behind the register at work, no ship can top the varied construction styles that modulars offer. They look great, you can build a set up quickly with them, they aren't builds that you'll rush, and they're each unique and distinct. Especially with how packed with detail they've been since the Parisian in particular. 
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,381
    Is the Santum Sanctorum actually a "modular building"? I think SS is more closely resembles the Haunted House in terms of the building process than the Creator Modular Buildings. There was much debate about this in the forum when the HH came out. To me, the HH is more like a doll house than a Modular Building. As @SumoLego once said "If it doesn't have friction pins; it isnt a modular." I'm paraphrasing of course ;)
    SumoLegogmonkey76BumblepantsBaby_YodaMynattmadforLEGOsnowhitie
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,421
    @henrysunset ;  Could you post a picture of SS next to any modular building?
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 1,614
    edited May 2018
    ^I can only assume you mean this?
    SumoLego
  • LyichirLyichir United StatesMember Posts: 733
    SumoLego said:
    Pitfall69 said:
    As @SumoLego once said "If it doesn't have friction pins; it isnt a modular." I'm paraphrasing of course ;)
    As I recall, the distinction was modular-scale buildings.  The GBHQ, Old Fishing Store, HH, SS, the Airjitzu Temple, the Creator Fairground sets, the Simpsons buildings, etc. are all of that modular scale, but not actual modulars.

    Ninjago City and the Docks are an interesting sub-set, as they fit together themselves, but not the other modulars.

    Either way, they look to be in the correct proportion to populate a LEGO City.
    Ninjago City and the Docks do technically fit with the other modulars (the connection points are the correct distance apart and all), they just don't necessarily work aesthetically with the other modulars (since the water level is one tile higher than the sidewalk level of your typical modular)
    SumoLegogmonkey76
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,502
    If your city were flooding, then the water level would be higher :)
    Switchfoot55SumoLegogmonkey76Baby_YodamadforLEGOBrickByBrick
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 12,066
    Ninjago Venice City...
    gmonkey76davetheoxygenmanBaby_YodaFizyxstlux
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 1,247
    Ninjago Hobart...
    MAGNINOMINISUMBRA
  • MaffyDMaffyD West YorkshireMember Posts: 2,575

    I could've done with a 'proper' modular scale Sanctum without any of Peter's apartment or the shop. I would've easily paid double to get that...

    Fizyxlcdo_figueroa
  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 2,871
    @MaffyD buy 2 and amaze us with your creation ;)
    MaffyDlcdo_figueroastlux
  • henrysunsethenrysunset Member Posts: 231
    edited June 2018
    oldtodd33 said:
    @henrysunset ;  Could you post a picture of SS next to any modular building?
    I don't have any of the modular buildings assembled at this time... Maybe someone else has one and can provide a side-by-side photo.
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